Next Stop: Somewhere Near Baltimore

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A reminder of why we don’t want to stay in Chicago

We didn’t take a big trip this summer for many life reasons. Don’t you hate it when reality gets in the way of travel? We’re dreaming of Vietnam and Cambodia, but our next jaunt is to the Baltimore area to see Steven’s son and daughter-in-law (and my stepson and stepdaughter-in-law). While we’re there, we’re going to look around and think about permanence. This whole time of life is a little bit travel, a little bit leap into the unknown. One thing I know for sure, though, Steven does not want to live through another Chicago winter and if Farmer’s Almanac is right, it’s going to be a bad one.

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Desert beats snowstorm any day

That’s why the trip to Utah; it was a fact-finding mission. Do we want to temporarily live in St. George? Would it be possible? Do we like it? Is the the right semi-long-term trip for us? The jury is out. For sure the winter would be easy. Plus, it is a wonderful vacation spot: Beautiful, warm, sunny, plenty of hiking and we did get in a beautiful hike, so no complaints there. But….vacation! travel! Someplace new and crazy. Not happening.

I wish at least we had time to drive East. The shorter the flight, the less I see the need to get on a plane, but, again, reality. Plane=quicker, at least if there’s a pilot, no weather, no random delays, no mechanical problems, no luggage that doesn’t match a passenger. I love to travel and see planes as a necessary evil. If I am flying over an ocean I can’t think about how I would rather be driving and then I get a free checked bag and maybe some food.

 

 

 

The Utah Desert in August

File:Woodbury Desert Study Area.Par.4030.Image.jpgYes, we are going to the desert … in August. Why? Good question. Here’s the thing: Whenever I go on vacation, I think, “I could live here. It’s so relaxing, beautiful, exciting, peaceful, happening, etc.” You can fill in whatever adjective floats your boat. Then I think, “But of course it’s great. There’s no dog waking me up early. No alarm, no schedule. Vacation money is different and I’m not sitting in traffic.” Reality bites.

The trick, if you’re really exploring places as more than vacation destinations, is to go completely off-season. St. George weather in August: High temperatures in the high 90s and low 100s. I have no problem with that, especially because it cools off into the 70s. My cutoff for feeling comfortable is 75. After that, I need a jacket or pants. But, what’s it like wandering around St. George when it’s 100 degrees? Are the streets deserted? What about the flipside? Is there heating in the houses? I don’t like to be cold.

When I travel, I can pretty much find something great about everywhere, because I am an explorer. Something new is something awesome. It may only be awesome once, but that’s OK because I tend not to go back to places unless friends and family are involved (or it’s Paris). There’s always a new place on the list.

The difference this time is that we are thinking of this as a place to live. Eek! Not, as one of my dear friends would say, “our forever home,” but a home nonetheless. This is a different kind of travel. Somewhere between vacationer and wanderer. Wanderer is appealing, except for the 11-year-old German shepherd, so this is a good compromise. Nevertheless, it’s a grand adventure, and I’m not keen on travel (or life) without adventure. Who knows? We may love it and find our “forever winter home.”

The hiatus was longer than I expected

We apologize, we truly meant to restart the blog as soon as the wedding was over, but the next week or so was a bit of a whirlwind and so here we are, married for 18 days and still haven’t updated the blog.  We are slackers.  In our defense, we are also honeymooners, so there are other things occupying our–or at least my–mind(s).

For those of you who missed the cliff hanger at the end of last season; here is a quick recap….During our trip to Hawaii, Sue was foolish enough to agree to marry me.  We spent much of the summer planning the wedding.

We did the deed and got hitched on October 5th. Put the date in your calendar–yes, we expect cards every year.  The following week, we took a four-day weekend and went to New York.  The trip was planned well before the wedding, as we were allocated

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Gratuitous Bruce pic

Springsteen on Broadway tickets.  Once again, for those of you who did not watch last season….these were the second set of seats we bought as we went to see the show last December.

We flew out on Thursday morning.  When we arrived it was a bit chilly, overcast with a little rain.  We grabbed an Lyft to our hotel, the Hilton Garden Inn/Tribeca.  Once we had checked in, we began wandering.  Our first ramble took us south to the Financial District.  We stopped on the way for lunch at Picasso’s Pizza.  Nothing special just great pizza–Yum!  After lunch we walked down to a store called 21st Century.  Someone Sue knows recommended it, and since we didn’t have any real destination in mind, we went there.  Sue perused and tried on a few things, but nothing caught her fancy.  We wandered out towards City Hall (a bit accidentally, as we were trying to go back up town).  When we got near Pace University, it started to rain pretty hard, so we hopped onto the subway and took it back to our hotel.  We had a quick rest then got ready for dinner with my uncle who lives in Midtown.  After dinner, we were still wide awake, so we caught a late night set at Smalls jazz club.

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The piano at Smalls

Our tickets for Springsteen were for Friday night.  We planned to spend the day wandering in Central Park, then perhaps visit the Frick Collection.  However, fate, greed, or good luck intervened. At some point early in September we discussed the price of Springsteen tickets on StubHub.  I asked Sue at what price she would be willing to part with ours.  She gave me an unreasonably high number and said let’s try and sell them for that.  We listed them for sale and lo and behold while waiting for the subway on the way to Central Park, the tickets sold!  Sue did a magnificent happy dance on the platform, and then we hopped the train. We spent the next few hours giggly about our good fortune and looking for something to do that night.  We had walked through Central Park, bought tickets to a Broadway play called “The Nap“, and decided to grab lunch (by the way it was now about 3 p.m.).  We got back on the subway and went back downtown to Sweet Chick, a chicken and waffle place we had visited last December.  Lunch was fabulous, but we were stuffed, so we decided to walk back to Midtown to see the play–a quick, 3-mile wander.  The show was a farce set in Sheffield, England, about a snooker match that someone is trying to fix. It was very funny, and we thoroughly enjoyed it.

Saturday we had no fixed plan.  We woke up, and started with a long wander south.  Then we turned uptown and visited the future showroom of one of my clients.  As we were walking down the street, voila!, we found a national park.  On E. 20th is the birthplace of Teddy Roosevelt.   Of course we had to visit.  It was pretty cool.  They have a guided tour through the main rooms and the ranger gives a really informative talk about Teddy and his family.   We had dinner with one of Sue’s friends at a very nice Italian place. After dinner, Sue and I decided to go to Cocoa Bar for dessert.  After some really yummy desserts, we walked back to the hotel.

Sunday was our last day in New York.  Once again, we did not really have a plan, other than to continue our wanders.  We saw a notice for a pickle festival.  For no other reason than it seemed funny, we walked over to it.  It was  pickle stand next to pickle stand for 4 blocks (and person jammed up aimg_20181013_182109250_hdrgainst person for said blocks).  I had a sour pickle on a stick….Yum, but somewhat interesting for a late breakfast.  From there we visited the New Museum and then International Center for Photography.  Both were interesting, but I preferred the photography.  By now, we were hungry so we headed back into Chinatown and found a nice little noodle place.  It was great, but I do not recall its name.  We walked back to the hotel to grab our bags and head to the airport when we received a notice that our flight was delayed a couple of hours.  So, we relaxed in the hotel lobby, went for a little walk, had a drink and then it was time go.  We grabbed a Lyft to the airport and flew home.

Great weekend, great honeymoon.